No Air Conditioning; UT Suffers Heat Stroke

By: Kelli Parker
By: Kelli Parker

Knoxville (WVLT) - The extreme heat is causing extreme problems for students at UT living in dorm rooms with no air conditioning.

Freshman student Hope Lohmueller is recovering after suffering a heat stroke in her dorm room where temperatures are reaching 97 degrees inside. Now, her mother wants answers, not just for her daughter, but also for the 200 other girls still living in the conditions.

"She said don't worry mom, I'm fine, but I just got home from the emergency room," mother Mary Anne Lohmueller said.

Less than a week after Mary Anne Lohmueller moved her daughter Hope into Strong Hall, her world is turned upside down.

"She said I didn't pass out, and I said well what did happen, and she said I could hear things, but couldn't open my eyes, I couldn't see things, people were talking to me and saying things to me," Lohmueller said.

Hope was then rushed to the emergency room where doctors diagnosed her problem. A heat stroke. Her mother rushes here from Ohio and finds Hope is sleeping in a dorm room where we found temperatures today of nearly 97 degrees.

"In 10, 12, 14, 15 days, how many other kids may be injured or hurt? This is inexcusable," Lohmueller said. "I was appalled that we would drop her off at the university, she could have gone many places, she choose the University of Tennessee."

"Appalled isn't the right word for it. I'm angry, and I'm going to take action," Lohmueller said.

And action is what UT officials say they are taking to tackle the heatwave, adding fans to the rooms.

"We've set up sleep arraignments in air conditioning and given advisories over there. We're moving students that want to move to air conditioning facilities. We're in the process of moving those," said Kenneth Stoner from UT Student Affairs.

Hope is one of seven girls now on the move from Strong Hall. Mary Anne says it took her calling UT officials to get the change, and now she says her work on campus isn't finished.

"She isn't my only concern. There are 200 other girls staying in Strong Hall," Lohmueller said. "It shouldn't have to come to this."

"We shouldn't have to put up with these types of condition. They are are subhuman. No one should have to deal with that, especially people paying money to an institution," Lohmueller said.

Mary Anne says the university has agreed to pay Hope's medical expenses. UT officials say anyone wanting to change rooms can do so by applying in their current residence hall.


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